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Nationwide hunt planned for city leader

A proposal with a price tag of $24,500 to help the city recruit the next city administrator has been selected by the city of Ashland Human Resources department as the preferred option among five choices. Councilor will discuss the recommendation at Monday night's study session.

Springsted-Waters Executive Recruitment, a recruitment company based in Minnesota, proposed an "all-inclusive recruitment fee" to conduct a national search from "a diverse pool of candidates" to replace current City Administrator John Karns before he leaves his post at the end of 2018. 

With its established networks, Springsted-Waters will be able to "make direct and personal contact with prospective minority and female candidates," according to the city staff report.

Staff also recommends that the council spend an extra $2,000 to access "a web-based survey conducted by Springsted-Waters to identify key community-wide issues and priorities." The report didn't include the other four proposals. Attempts to reach Human Resource Director Tina Gray for comment on Friday were unsuccessful.

Gray told the council in a meeting in December that the city doesn't have the in-house resources to conduct a national search. The council unanimously approved extending Karns' tenure until December 2018 and hiring a third-party agency for the recruitment process at the same meeting.

Karns has served as the city administrator since the council ousted Dave Kanner in November 2016. Attempts to reach Karns for comment on Friday were unsuccessful.    

The council will also discuss the recruitment process for a new spokesperson for the city at Monday's study session.

The new hire would succeed Ashland's longtime spokeswoman and management analyst, Ann Seltzer. The job pays between $66,969 and $81,399 annually, plus benefits, according to the job posting.

The deadline to apply for the job was Jan. 19, according to city's document. Karns said in an interview in January that the city is confident it can find a good candidate for the position, adding there was at least one internal employee interested in the position.

On Tuesday at its regular meeting, the council will vote on whether to approve a resolution or submit a letter of support regarding the Clean Energy Jobs Bill. The Conservation Commission unanimously approved a recommendation for Mayor John Stromberg to sign a letter in support of the bill at its meeting on Dec. 13.

Monday’s study session begins at 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday’s regular meeting at 7 p.m. Both are in the Council Chambers at 1175 East Main St., and are cablecast and webcast live via RVTV.

— Reach reporter Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or tnguyen@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on twitter @nguyenntrann.